Statutory guidance

Early years (under 5s) foundation stage framework (EYFS)

The standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children under 5.


Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage


The framework:

  • sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well
  • ensures children are kept healthy and safe
  • ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school

This statutory framework is for:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • childcare providers
  • childminders

It relates to:

  • local authority-maintained schools
  • non-maintained schools (schools not maintained by a local authority)
  • independent schools
  • academies and free schools
  • nurseries
  • private nursery schools
  • pre-schools/playgroups
  • childminding

Statutory guidance is issued by law; you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to do so.

The EYFS framework published on 3 March 2017 came into force on 3 April 2017.

Supporting material is available on the Foundation Years website.

Published 31 March 2014
Last updated 3 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added new statutory framework.
  2. Added link to the Foundation Years website.
  3. First published.